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Will Falcons Playoff Drought Continue in 2022?

The Falcons have missed the playoffs for the past four seasons.

Out of all 32 NFL teams, only nine have failed to make the playoffs in each of the past three seasons ... including the Atlanta Falcons.

The Falcons have struggled to field a winning team in recent years thanks to subpar coaching, inconsistency at the wide receiver position and struggles pressuring the quarterback, finishing with a league-low 18 sacks in 2021.

With all of this in mind, the Falcons have hit the reset button this offseason, trading longtime quarterback Matt Ryan to the Indianapolis Colts and replacing him with Marcus Mariota, a player who has found success with Arthur Smith in the past and Desmond Ridder, a player who strongly resembles Ryan Tannehill, who experienced a career renaissance with Smith during his days with the Tennessee Titans.

The team has also doubled-down on youth at the two most problematic positions on the roster: wide receiver and defensive end. With Drake London and Arnold Ebiketie leading the youth movement on each side of the ball, the future appears bright for the Falcons. 

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But for 2022, is predicting that Atlanta is the least-likeliest team to break a 3+ year playoff drought. 

Matt Ryan is in Indianapolis. Calvin Ridley is suspended for the year. The defense is riddled with holes. Marcus Mariota is Marcus Mariota.

Sure, I love Kyle Pitts' rare talent and Drake London's instant upside. I still believe Arthur Smith can coach. But the 2022 Falcons are flawed in most areas. This is what the ground floor of a rebuild looks like.

Trying to win last year made sense. Tearing it down to build it back up was the only play in 2022. I still like the people in charge for the future of this franchise. But it's going to be a long, long year in Atlanta.

These low expectations placed on Atlanta in 2022 are nothing new, but with the added doubt, it will only make victories this season sweeter if they can overcome their struggles.